16 June 2024

£220,000 plan to revamp Withernsea’s tennis courts

By Rebecca Hannant

Members of the Withernsea Tennis Association have launched ambitious plans to revamp three tennis courts in the town.

The tennis courts at the bottom of Lascelles Avenue have been in steady decline since they were last used in the 1990s.

The £220,000 project will see the creation of three hard-court surfaces with the surrounding greenery cut back. The sunken retaining walls and stairs will be replaced with a new wall and ramp to allow accessible entry.

The association is also looking to install floodlights which will allow players to play in the evenings and during all weathers. Shrubbery and trees will be planted to protect surrounding properties from light pollution.

A new entry system will also be created for users, as Withernsea Tennis Association member Janine Foster explained: “We plan to create an annual subscription for those that want to play frequently. We are also hoping to open it for ‘pay to play’ so anybody can book a court and play to their choosing.

“The plan is to have a coded gate so when you book a court online it will give you an access code which is valid just for that session. This will automatically turn the floodlights on.”

The ultimate aim is to encourage more people in the area to play tennis.

Janine added: “The idea is to get people to play as much as they can. This will have a physical and mental health benefit. Tennis is amazing sport. It is a social sport, too.

“We hope to be able to host club nights, social evenings and daytime sessions for elderly people. Tennis can be played by all ages.”

As part of the initiative, the association’s members also called on Angela Merrills, local growth coordinator at East Riding Council, who set up a survey that allowed people to share their thoughts on the revamp. The results showed unanimous support for the project.

Janine added: “Angela set up a survey for us which we then sent out to people in the area, and the following report showed a phenomenal response from people.

“She said that compared with surveys she had done for other places, the response we got to it was phenomenal, and she’d never seen so many positive responses.”

As part of the revamp, a 40-year lease for the area has been secured, and the association is working hard to secure the £220,000 funding needed.

So far, they have received £50,000 from Withernsea Big Local, and have also benefited from donations from Street Games, Tesco, Gasco, Howdens, Triton Power and Reckitt Benckiser.

The club is also calling on the public to donate, and has registered on the Easy Fundraising website.

Janine said: “This is like a cashback site. You sign up to it, and then you do your shopping online. It will give you a reminder if the business is supporting a charity. Anyone can log on and select us – this is a good way of raising funds. It doesn’t cost anything to the person – the donations are from the retailers.

“We received £22 from a holiday booking, £24 from a hotel booking reservation, and £19 from Go Compare, so that’s a good way for people to help without it costing them a penny. Registration is free.”

Fellow member Carolyn Sumner added: “How many courts we build depends on how much we have raised by the time the work starts. No matter what happens, we will continue to fundraise to end up with three full courts.

“We are grateful for all those who have donated. Thank you to all our supporters, including Active Withernsea.”

The club currently plays indoor softball tennis at Withernsea Leisure Centre on Wednesdays between 7pm and 8pm. Anyone who wishes to join can email [email protected].